A Doncaster man has received £210,000 in compensation, with help from UNISON, after he was left with blurred vision, severe anxiety and personality changes from being hit in the head with an iron bar.

David Prince, 58, was inspecting an E H Lee delivery wagon in his role as a reception assistant for Rampton Secure Hospital when the accident happened.

He asked the driver to open the side curtains of the vehicle in order for the wagon to be inspected. As he was in the process of inspecting the vehicle, the driver let go of the curtain and the iron bar attached to it struck him on the left side of his head.

Mr Prince became dizzy, his vision blurred and he suffered from severe pain, extreme tiredness and nausea. He was then taken to hospital and discharged to return to work.

After the accident he had to cut his hours back sharply as he continued to suffer from chronic headaches, an inability to concentrate and out of character behaviour.

Accident resulted in retirement on grounds of ill health

Over the next two years, Mr Prince was shifted around departments and tried a variety of tasks, but was unable to cope with the work and his employer eventually agreed to retire him on the grounds of ill health.

Mr Prince still suffers from severe headaches, anxiety symptoms, poor sleep, poor appetite, lack of concentration, mood swings and quick loss of temper. He finds it impossible to socialise, leave the house, or answer the phone without the assistance of his wife, and is reliant on anti-depressants.

Following his accident, Mr Prince approached his union, UNISON, which instructed personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim against E H Lee Limited.

Compensation paid to injured worker

E H Lee admitted liability in 2009 and a trial was due for August this year, but the company agreed to a compensation settlement before the case went to court.

UNISON’s General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:

“Our thoughts go out to David and his wife. It’s hard enough readjusting to life after a head injury without having to worry about how you’re going to pay the bills.

“We’re pleased to have been able to help give them some support and financial security to help them recover from this tough time.”

Thompsons took really good care of me

David Prince said:

“The process was very difficult, but if it hadn’t been for UNISON I really don’t know where I’d be, as I have not been in a good state since the accident. When I told UNISON what happened they put me in touch with Thompsons, who also took really good care of me.

“As far as everyday life goes, it’s nothing like it used to be. Getting the compensation has made a great difference, as it’s taken away a lot of worries about the future.”

Deborah Prince, who is also a UNISON member and works as a nursing assistant at Rampton hospital, said:

“I am relieved that David and I can now attempt to continue with our lives. Everything changed overnight after the accident and it has been a real struggle.

“I am so pleased that we have some security for the future, as I was worried I would have to work until my late 60s, leaving David on his own and isolated every day.

“The compensation goes a long way towards caring for David and the loss of his career.”

Ashling King, from Thompsons Solicitors, said:

“This is an excellent result for Mr Prince, who’s one of the most genuine people you could meet.

“With the assistance offered by his union, UNISON, and with the compensation he has received, hopefully Mr Prince will be in a position to try to get on with his life as best as possible.”

This news story was also published by the Yorkshire Post and The Star.